A GoodTherapy.org News Update
Carl Jung, one of psychology’s brightest and best known–and certainly influential–figures, has long inspired the establishment of new therapies and ideas within the realm of mental health. From clinically-applicable research and development to significant influence in the healing work of thousands upon thousands of psychotherapists, Jung’s prolific and structured ideas have helped to shape the modern face of psychotherapy. But as many actors are finding out, Jung’s theories about the nature and meaning of human dreaming can transcend the textbook and become a powerful tool for method acting.
Dreamwork, which is described as a particular offshoot of method acting, has been taking the players of the stage and screen to astonishing depths in terms of discovering their roles, and the trend is rapidly growing. Jungian ideas about the dream as an expression of the unconscious, transmitting figures and symbols to the conscious mind for consideration, have been the subjects of scholarship and in-office treatment for a long time, but are only beginning to inspire a larger creative audience. Utilizing Jung’s theories about the role of dreams, actors seek to gain new insights about their characters while they snooze, stepping into their roles as they drift off in the hope that the unconscious mind will provide new clues about a character’s deepest thoughts and feelings.
The practice serves as the focal point for a growing number of actors’ workshops and seminars, and has been attracting big names from television and cinema, including performers Harvey Keitel and Kate Walsh. Of course, while dreamwork may be an actor’s asset, it remains a popular and often lauded technique in the private dramas of psychotherapy sessions, where clients can explore the depths of their minds to shed new light on overt issues.
© Copyright 2009 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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